Chocolate could actually help you lose weight – but there’s one catch, scientists say

By Staff 4 Min Read

A chemical called theobromine, found in cocoa beans and abundant in milk and dark chocolate, has ‘potential health benefits’ for humans, according to scientists

Open those leftover Easter eggs – chocolate may help you lose weight.

But the bad news is you can only have a maximum of 20g a day. It could also boost your mood and your brain, and protect it from age-related cognitive decline. A chemical called theobromine, found in cocoa beans and abundant in milk and dark chocolate has “potential health benefits”, scientists say.

Theobromine is found in the seeds of the cocoa tree which thrives in tropical South America. A study found it promotes fat breakdown and could help treat or prevent strokes, depression and diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

It said Theobromine has few side effects and could also help reduce the negative effect high cholesterol can have on memory. The study, by a team from Zhengzhou University in China, found it has protective effects on the kidneys, and could prevent kidney stones. It can even help ease coughing and toughen up children’s teeth.

The team studied research carried out globally for the last 23 years. They said: “Theobromine showcases neuroprotective attributes, enhances cognitive function, and holds promise in mitigating age-related cognitive decline. It exhibits anti-inflammatory properties and contributes to weight management.”

One study analysed said: “Cocoa consumption for more than four weeks and less than 20g a day has statistically significant beneficial effects on BMI and body weight; nevertheless, the effect size is minor.” Higher consumption might produce the opposite effect. Cocoa beans contain around 3.3% Theobromine.

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